((Sorry its so long and rambling, but lots happened!))
Gadget watched as the dark figure bounced across the rooftops towards him with unnatural agility.
” ‘ello Sir” he said greeting the knight as he landed noislessly in the snow covered roof.
“Are you well?” Sebastian asked.
“I am Sir, come inside its cold up ‘ere”. Gadget pointed to the pole and slid down after his guest.
“Welcome to our new secret lab Sir, rebuilt since the last one was compromised”
The knight strolled about inspecting the place and then stopped abruptly in front of the quietly crackling chamber holding Brian and the open book on reanimation in front of it.
“We destroyed written works such as these, the Van Creed had collected many works of many alchemists” the knight spun and held Gadget in an unforgiving gaze as Gadget shifted uncomfortably.
“I just wanna get my shark back, ‘e was murdured, I am working to right that wron…”
“You speak like all the other alchemists” the knight interrupted “without people like you the Van Creed would no doubt not exist. They feed of you, they become more powerful by reaping what you sow”
Gadget frowned “I do not work for greed Sir. One cannot hide from knowledge or you will be enslaved by those that seek power over you. Even you Sir, your sword, your robes, all created through mans knowledge” Nat walked in smiling but came to an abrupt halt, seeing at once the knight and sensing the atmosphere.
Sternly the Kinght admonished Gadget “Do not try and compare that which the world provides with the perverse attempts at meddling with the gods designs” then in a softer tone “Your Shark is at peace let him rest.”
Gadget felt the bitterness and injustice rise within him, his voice cracking “and who is to judge? What is weaving and what is meddeling Sir? All things come from the earth, everything you see ‘ere, I work with nature not against it! Brian was murdured, ‘ow can I sit by if I might be able to right that wrong?” Gadget sat down fighting back the tears.
“Life is not from the earth, it is from the gods, and we are given that gift from birth and by meddling in that power we seek to disrupt what is the realm of Gods not Man, it is dangerous.” Sebastian said firmly.
“I seek only to prevent the corrupt men of greed from taking what is not theirs by using the knowledge your gods allowed me.” Gadget looked to Nat for support but Sebastian continued.
“Your shark is dead, and it has moved onto it’s next course, you should not seek rip it back into this world, you would be righitng a wrong with another wrong young man. Just look at Moriarty, his very existence now is an insult to my Goddess. Now if you will excuse me I need to speak to the unicorn for I think I know how to stop the town from being destroyed” The knight left abruptly and Gadget thought to himself “Then your Goddess will be my judge”, he turned to Nat.
“I have no faith beyond nature itself, the study and harnessing of the forces of nature is my worship. It is not faith in deities, I refer only to the study of science.” Gadget stated, hoping his freind would support his stance.
Nat sat back and sighed “Malkuth consider meddling with life and death to be an assult against nature, not surprisingly. The 13 Club destroyed Babbage because of their mad science. They began as sceptics, disproving superstition, but discovered it was all real and began all sorts of experiments. They ended up doing terrible things and causing the mess we’re in now and that was why we Urchins created the 13 and Below, to learn from their mistakes and use science to prevent them happening again…..”
Gadget cut in….”That is exactly what I am trying to do and I am following my remit within the under 13, Defence and Weapons Research.”
“So are you going to listen to his warnings about ressurections?” Nat questioned.
Gadget frowned and paused in thought before answering “Brian was loyal, why should the wrong of his murder not be righted. We need to fill ourselves with knowledge to prevent those with evil intent from enslaving us! Ignorance can be deadly! Men and Greed and Power corrupt, I seek none of that, only peace and knowledge. Why should superstition stand in the way of science” Gadget knew he was standing alone with his position and losing the arguement, he threw his arms up in petulant dispair “Why does everybody stand in the way of progress!”
Nat was used to his freinds oubursts and calmly replied “If progress is dying in an airship crash, I want off. The Knight said Brian’s spirit has moved on and is at peace, and a ressurection could cause damage” he paused “of the kind the 13 Club caused, the kind that got us into this mess. Knowledge is also about knowing when not to act. Willard was motivated by love and grief, it clouded his judgement.” Nat fixed his freind with a stare. He did not have to spell out the comparison.
“Come up to the roof” Gadget said. Moments later they gazed out over the Babbage skyline. “You all think I should leave Brian dead” said Gadget sadly.
Nat patiently replied “A man who’s over a thousand years old tells you about life and death and you doubt him?”
The barge left the canals and headed out to sea. When the engine finally slowed the boat drifted on and the Urchins gathered at the brow holding flaming torches. Doc Sonnerstein, the only adult invited was the only voice to be heard;
“Well then…. what can be said when one loses a pet? A best friend who is there to care for you unconditionally… A playmate always eager to see you.. a valiant protector who would give it’s life in a heartbeat to see you safe and unharmed…..Brian was all of these. An intelligent shark, loyal and playful. He would give rides to his friends when it was time for play, and when it was time to fight, he would defend against intruders viciously.. and in the end, it was in this way he gave his life…..Let it never be said that a fish, even a strong and brutal shark, cannot love and be a friend. For Brian certainly put many dark myths about sharks to rest and proved them wrong.”
As Loki played the last post on his trumpet, Gadget lifted the black silk covered plank and Brian slipped into the water for the last time.
“never met a friendier fish” said Gilhooley as Nat stiffled a sob.
Gadget walked wordlessly to the stern his fists clenched tight.
The Urchins assembled in The Absinthe Bar to toast Brain and the mood was lightened by a travelling musician who regaled them in song and music. Even the recently rare sound of laughter could be heard and the Bar gradually filled with evening drinkers. Margo December and her grandson exchanged quips and the Malkuth knight came in, searching for Miss Falcon, but then the laughter and conversation ceased abruptly as Jason Moriarty strode in and took a seat, all eyes upon him.
“The abomination” Said the knight.
“Charming” replied Moriarty, as if taking pleasure in the discomfort his presence caused.
“erm sir, I dont want any trouble” said Loki nervously from behind his Bar.
Margo December gave Moriarty a pitying look she usually gave to the Urchins “You are the darkness, poor thing, an angel of the dark”
“Grandma, I dont think you should be talking to him” Loki said across the Bar “I’m sorry Sir she’s not all with it in this world”
“Shes more with it than most of you here” said Moriarty without humour.
The braver of the assembled throng and the knight continued to bombard Moriarty with questions, his irritation visibly growing.
“You may sit there confident in you purpose Moriarty, but what you think will happen is not what the writer writes” said Sebastian.
“I am what I am, and unless you can find a way to stop what the gods have created then you speak twaddle.” Moriarty stood up “I find this company pathetic” and with that he left.
The knight turned his attention to the remaining drinkers “You people should not concern yourself with Moriarty, he amuses himself with diverting your attention from the real threat here”
“I still wish we could turn him away from the path he walks before it’s too late for him…” said Doc Sonnerstein with a sigh.
“The cogs of babbage with the letters VC, fingers in all pies YUM, they make you do what you think is good, and…… and….” Margo sang as she spun with her huge sack making the Urchins duck.
As most of the people, including the musician nervously drifted off, checking round corners as they went a couple of newcomers arrived. June Forsyth returning to Babbage after some time away from the City and Professor Lionheart. Gadget approached the Professor and asked him if he might be able to assist uncover the Urchins memory of his kidnap, something which was still a complete blank. The Professor said he would attempt to enter Gadget’s dreams and connect with his unconscious. Gadget was unsure if this would work as his sleep was plagued with nightmares more often than usual, but he agreed and soon after returned to his bed.
It was not long before the angry voices filled his mind. Looking up from his bed he felt himself squeezed by a myriad of tentacles reaching through the matress as if trying to pull him down. Gadget screamed silently as all around him flames lept up and danced. He could hear a voice above the others, speaking to him, guiding him and holding back the angry voices as Gadget calmed and drifted into a deep dreamless sleep.